Tuesday 31 May 2016

Encounter at Farpunctum

This is the second To the Strongest! game that the Young Padawan and I have played since I 'completed' painting my Romans and Carthaginians. This time I opted for slightly smaller forces and some new terrain that I recently bought. We are still very much at the learning stage with this rule-set and a smaller game meant we could really get to grips with the rules and still complete a game in a reasonable time-span (ie before dinner!). While this battle is fictional but its probably a scenario that has been played out thousands of times throughout history. 

The Setup
A small Carthaginian army has discovered an area of the the river Farpunctum that is fordable for the main body of the Army, a few hours march away. However the Romans, with superior local knowledge, have left an equivalent sized force in the area and threaten to block the crossing before the Carthaginians have a chance to take it. Their commander decides to take the initiative and advances quickly on the ford.

For the purposes of this game we agreed that the river was fordable for its entire length but would count as rough ground. This presented an interesting tactical situation without restricting us to a narrow crossing point. However we also had other terrain on the table that made this a much more interesting set-up than our last game.

Order of Battle
Romans - 141 Points - 26 Victory Points
  First Command - Right Flank
    Mounted General Detached
    Equites Romani - 2 Units
    Equites Extrodinari - 1 Unit
  Second Command - Centre
    Mounted General - Brilliant
    Mounted General Detached
    Velites - 2 Units
    Hestati - 2 Units
    Princips - 2 Units
  Third Command - Left Flank
    Mounted General Detached
    Velites - 3 Units
    Triari - 3 Units
  Army Camp

Carthaginians - 135 Points - 36 Victory Points
  First Command - Left Flank
    Mounted General
    Punic Cavalry - 4 Units
  Second Command - Centre
    Mounted General - Brilliant
    Mounted General Detached
    African Spearmen - 4 Units
    Baleric Slingers - 2 Units
    African Elephants - 2 Units
  Third Command - Right Flank
    Mounted General Detached
    Numidian Skirmishers - 2 Units
  Army Camp
    Numidian Light Cavalry - 4 Units

The Action
Initial Setup with Romans at the bottom of the picture and the Carthaginian's at the top. The game hasn't even started and I'm feeling a little outnumbered!
The Carthaginians
The Roman Army

The Young Padawan and her pre game gloat.

Me and my "please don't hurt me" look

Numidian Light Cavalry begin to advance. This game we tried using d10's instead of cards and and instead of placing numbered chits on the table we put the dice down. This worked pretty well so we may continue to do this.

We used purple dice for the Carthaginians, Green dice for the Romans (couldn't get red but I'm working on it!) and yellow dice for combat actions. 

The Carthaginian's begin to advance. My strategy was to hold at the river and keep a tight formation. Outnumbered I needed to maintain order. At the end of each players turn all the dice are removed. 

My first dice roll of the game! The young Padawan found this extremely funny for some reason. 

The Punic Cavalry advance to the river edge and prepare to cross.

End of turn two and the gaps are closing. My Velites prepare to contest the river against any Carthaginian's trying to cross but on the whole I'm feeling quite outnumbered at this point. 

After some elaborate manoeuvring the Punic Cavalry cross the river and prepare to skirt around the woods.  

On the other flank missiles start to fly as the Numidian Light Cavalry move towards the Velites

Now that the intentions of the Punic Cavalry are clear (ie where they are moving) my Roman Equites turn to face the danger. They hold back for the right moment and hope that a well timed charge can see off the enemy.

End of turn three and the Carthaginian's are still advancing and other than some ineffective missile file little has happened yet. 

Numidian skirmishers try to cross the river opposed by my Velites.

The first if the Carthaginian war elephants cross the river and smash into my Hastati. The Romans hold fast and begin to inflict damage on this formidable foe.

Meanwhile the Punic Cavalry have been charged by my Equites. 

On the opposite flank my Triari prepare to be hit by the Numidian light cavalry. The Velites manage to destroy one Numidian unit but there more remain.

A clash of cavalry which ultimately ended with the Roman Equites coming out on top.

My Hastati  start to inflict some damage on the Carthaginian elephants.

The Punic Cavalry can't break my Equites who hold on for firm.

Over on the other side the Numidian cavalry seem to have ground to a halt. I think the Padawan made a mistake here and forgot to move them. 

Inexperience also shows with her handling  of the skirmishers which were sent in against my formed unit of Triari.

Success! I inflict a killing blow on one of her Elephant units and it Rampages before dropping dead...right to through a unit of Punic Spearmen! 😀

Overview about turn 6 or 7... the Romans are pressed on all sides but seem to be holding their ground. 

Now it's the Numidian's turn for bad luck. This unit rolls a one. The Padawan calls on her general to re roll for activation and she gets another one! That command cannot do anything more this turn.

The Punic Cavalry loose a unit weakening this flank.

The Numidian command is now disordered and both sides are equally mauled. VP' s are about equal so we decide to call this a draw.

This was a tough fight. From the start it felt like an uphill battle for the Romans and it's clear I need some allied units to bolster this army. Having said that they performed a lot better in this game and I gave the Carthaginian army a run for its money.

The use of coloured dice rather than numbered chits worked well and sped up play considerably. I still have a lot to learn though and will take some time to read the rules again because I'm sure I missed some things. 


  1. What a beautiful report! Great looking figures, love the clash of cavalry's picture...

  2. Looking great. Love the purple dice; very Tyrian!

  3. Great looking game. cheers

  4. I had wondered about using dice and saw little reason it should not work except the deck depletion when using cards making certain runs of numbers slightly more common, depending on what had already been dealt.

    What a splendid report. It looks good, and plays well, what more could any of us ask!

  5. With the title, I was expecting Q to show up.

  6. Great report and pictures! Thanks for sharing!


  7. Those tiny chaps of yours have really come out well. particularly like the close up pic of the cavalry melee. Great looking table and write up.


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